Porto 17 th April

This morning we woke to heavy rain. We intended to visit the Livaria Lello Book shop so we got up early and decided we would eat breakfast out after the visit. When we set off my boots were slipping on the wet pavement tiles and I grabbed Bill’s arm for stability. I felt like a child because he is so tall. I was nervous about falling. When we arrived at the bookshop there was already a long queue, even though it was wet. We resigned ourselves to waiting this time and played a geography quiz while we waited. We had got there about 8.45 and the shop didn’t open till 9.30 am so we were shocked at the queue that continued to grow while we waited. Eventually a young woman in a Harry Potter cape walked down the queue telling us that there was no entry without a ticket and we needed to buy one. This was news to us ( we were so naive!) . Anne and Irene went off while Bill and I held our space and the space of the young man in front of us. Eventually we had to let ticket holders go in front of us and the girls finally returned with tickets. They had had to queue at the ticket office. By now the queues was two blocks long behind us! What an amazing marketing ploy they have. Apparently J.K? Rowling had lived in Porto for some time and had based the library in Harry Potter on this book shop. That explains why there were so many people .The shop has a Harry Potter room and this amazing double staircase. The book shop is lovely but it was full of people. They were like ants on a lolly pop! I could hardly believe they actually sell books too but we all bought something and we were the 50 th Australians and it was barely 10.30am. it is hard to convey the beauty of the bookshop. It had a great atmosphere even though there were hundreds of people.

When we emerged the rain was just as heavy and we looked for a breakfast place. Irene and Bill had decided they would head home to get sorted for our departure the next morning. Anne and I wanted to go to the Cathedral and the Church of Sao Francisco.

It was still pouring so we took the metro but could not avoid the wet altogether. We were impressed with both churches and enjoyed exploring Porto further. so many of the churches are well lit with natural light which always surprises.By the time we returned it was late afternoon, we were wet and cold. Soon after our Portugal Green Walks representative arrived to brief us on the walk from Porto to Santiago de Compostella.

We all felt very excited and some felt emotional. We went out for dinner and a local dish, a Francesinha. It is a heart challenger! Bread, steak, ham, cheese layered then smothered in cheese and drizzled with sauce. It was huge and I couldn’t eat it all.

Home in the rain and packing. Our bags are pretty full so it is hard to get everything in. I am carrying some things for Anne because her bag is really stuffed. I am cursing myself for bringing too much but I only had 14 kegs when I left home and now I have 16 kg. I miss the discipline of the backpack.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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